When Games Become Reality

Thinking of game movies, one of the first that comes to mind for me is the 1995 Jumanji, directed by Joe Johnston. Set in the modern world, the characters’ lives take a turn for the worse when they play this old board game that quickly begins to take over the real world. In this movie there isn’t much needed in the way of technology, as the game itself is a board game. The players need the game and its pieces, as well as the dice to roll. The magical and probably somewhat evil if not certainly chaotic board game takes care of the rest. They also need all of the players– the game will not progress unless the next person in line takes their turn.

The audience for this movie is children ten and up, though honestly most younger people were quite scared by it. Looking at how the movie is portrayed, it shares many characteristics with modern horror films. There is a cursed object (the game) that is hidden away in the beginning of the film, and it’s not long after that the protagonist finds it. He unleashes the evil within and the rest of the movie is the cast of characters trying to defeat it. When they do they also lock it away. The final scene of the movie, as in most horror films, is the next victims uncovering the cursed object and unleashing the evil again. (there’s definitely supposed to be pictures here but I can not add them for some reason)

The tropes for showing the difference between the game and reality in this movie are varied, simply because the game begins to infect reality. The most common would be the addition of African elements, bats and plants and creatures, that are not local and do not belong in a city in America. The other most iconic game to reality would be the hunter that got summoned from the game– Van Pelt. He is out to kill the players and he is very real. 

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